10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2016 9:14 AM by Colin Fowler

    How to initiate IM / Lync / Chat session (and more) from a Tableau dashboard

    Paul Banoub

      Hello everyone.

       

      Before I start this I have to admit I nicked the idea completely from Dave Hart of Interworks, who came up with it when he was working with us. But he doesn't blog or tweet so that leaves me to claim all the glory... Actually I'm just passing on his superior knowledge..

       

      Many of you probably use mailto: actions in your Tableau dashboards, to kick off a mail to someone that might be highlighted in a viz etc. And you might also have some sort of internal IM system like MS Lync or something like that.

       

      Well you can just as easily initiate a chat session to one or multiple recipients using Tableau.

       

      This uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to open the session in whatever IM client is in use. You just need to open Tableau Server like this. Interestingly mailto: is automatically allowed.

       

      tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist sip

      tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist im

      tabadmin restart

       

       

      sip: allows Lync to lookup people using their email address
      im: tells Lync to open it as a group chat


      This is an example of an URI Scheme. There are dozens of others, such as callto: which tells mobile phones to call as well as facetime: and of course mailto:.


      Once you've opened the server up you can then create a Tableau action to fire off the command. Note that if you try and IM yourself it will usually default to email.


      im:<sip:kelly.smith@company.com>

      im:<sip:kelly.smith@company.com><sip:james.anderson@company.com>

      im:<sip:kelly.smith@company.com><sip:james.anderson@company.com><sip:rob.jones@company.com>

       

      When it comes to the action Tableau won't let you use multiple items without specifying a delimiter so what you do is use "><" as the delimiter and then put [url encoded] "<" and ">" around the data field.

       

      I think there's probably some way cool things that could be done with URI Schemes in Tableau dashboards.

       

      Regards, Paul

      @paulbanoub

      vizninja.com